Big air bronze for Billy Morgan makes PyeongChang 2018 Team GB’s most successful Winter Olympics
Team GB’s Billy Morgan won bronze in the men’s big air final as Canada’s Sebastien Toutant claimed gold ahead of American Kyle Mack in the event’s Olympic debut.
Morgan’s bronze makes it five medals for GB in Pyeongchang – the nation's most successful Winter Olympics in history.
The winner was determined by taking the riders’ best two scores from a possible three, and after a strong showing in qualification, the pressure of the final was evident at Alpensia.
New Zealand’s Carlos Garcia Knight – who led qualification with a 97.50 - and Canada’s Mark McMorris – third with 95.75 – both ruled themselves out of contention after failing to land their first two jumps.
The duo’s stumbles blew the competition wide open going into the final run, with a 90+ score yet to be posted, but it was ultimately the opening two runs from Toutant (84.75 and 89.50) which handed the Canadian gold, while Mack also took silver thanks to his first two jumps (82.00 and 86.75).
Morgan meanwhile faced an anxious wait after posting a combined score of 168.00 with his last two jumps – just 0.75 points behind Mack – but bronze was confirmed for the GB rider after Canada’s Max Parrot crashed with his final attempt.
Billy Morgan of Great Britain reacts during the Men's Big Air FinalGetty Images
Morgan was second up in the 12-man final, but a stumble saw the 28-year-old post 30.00, which therefore put the onus on scoring big with his final two runs.
And while it was Norway’s Torgeir Bergrem who led the way with a score of 88.50 after the first round, Morgan put himself in the mix after making the jump stick in his second run – scoring 82.50.
Toutant put himself in first after the second run, having followed up an 84.75 with an 89.50, while Bergrem had it all to do with his final run after a fall saw him score just 42.50.
BIlly Morgan after landing his last runGetty Images
Morgan’s final-round jump of 85.50 then saw him move up into bronze, while a stumble from Toutant saw him fail to add to his score of 174.25.
Toutant and Morgan therefore faced anxious waits to see if they would medal, and after Bergrem’s fall, second-placed Mack also had to rely on his first two runs after failing to land his last jump.
Rider after rider failed to add to their scores, and when Parrot ruled himself out of contention for the medals, Bronze was confirmed for Morgan, and history was made for Team GB.